What is the maximum recommended height above the floor for an above-the-range microwave?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) recommends that the bottom of the microwave be no more than 54 inches above the floor, which allows 18 inches clearance above the typical range/counter height of 36 inches. Otherwise, a shorter person would be reaching over their head to remove a hot item from the microwave—which is dangerous. We think that is a sensible maximum installation height, but a higher or lower level should probably be determined by the needs of the occupants of the house.

    The International Residential Code (IRC) and Florida Building Code (FBC) defer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions and do not have a specific code requirement. Most manufacturer’s installation manuals recommend that the top of the microwave be at 66 inches above the floor. That is, coincidentally, also the standard height of the bottom of a wall cabinet above the range in most kitchens.

    The question of maximum height for an over-the-range microwave came up today at a home inspection where the bottom of the microwave was 62 inches above the floor. Our customer’s comment was “I don’t think I want to try to pull a bubbling lasagna down from there!”

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Here’s links to a collection of some of our other blog posts about APPLIANCES: 

What are the building code requirements for installing an appliance (furnace, air handler, water heater) in the attic?

Which house appliances need a dedicated electrical circuit? 

Is a washing machine drain hose required to be secured at the standpipe?

When was GFCI-protection for kitchen dishwasher receptacle outlet first required? 

Why does venting a clothes dryer into a garage, attic, or crawl space cause problems?

Does a refrigerator water supply line require a shutoff valve behind it? 

My spa tub stopped working. What's wrong?

Why would a home have natural gas appliaces but no gas meter? 

Is a hot water faucet required at a washing machine?

Can I remove a 240-volt range receptacle and hard-wire the range? 

 Can a dishwasher be wired to a kitchen counter small appliance receptacle circuit?

Why is it bad to have a clothes dryer vent near an air conditioning condenser (outdoor unit)? 

Do home inspectors test the appliances?

What are the most common defects with over-the-range microwaves?

Are a range and refrigerator required kitchen appliances for a house to pass FHA inspection? 

What are the code requirements for an outdoor dryer vent cover?

What is the maximum length for a clothes dryer vent? 

Why are my ceiling fan blades drooping?

How do you inspect a dryer vent? 

• Why is there a water hose connected to the back of the clothes dryer?

    Visit our APPLIANCES page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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